• Bitten by the whale watching bug Bitten by the whale watching bug We don’t realise how lucky we are in South Africa, and in particular the Western Cape, to have the mightiest of the marine mammals visit our coastline between every year ...
  • The Whale Trail The Whale Trail The Whale Trail is not a new trail, having been around since about 2002, but it has become extremely popular. It is truly a unique experience, perhaps comparable with ...
  • 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa Combine your trip to South Africa with a relaxing, revitalising visit to a health spa and experience Africa at it's finest. Our favourite 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa are ...
  • Locals share their favourite getaways Locals share their favourite getaways We ask 30 local South Africans to share their favourite holiday destinations and getaways with us. From the more popular destinations like Knysna and the Kruger Park to ...
  • The Oude Skip hike The Oude Skip hike The Oude Skip walk shares portions of its hike with the larger Karbonkelberg Traverse, which is roughly seven hours of hard walk from Hout Bay harbour to Llandudno ...
  • 10 Amazing Game Lodges 10 Amazing Game Lodges South Africa is world renowned for her game reserves and wildlife. The lodges which allow us to experience these in luxury are no less awe inspiring. Our favourites are ...
  • 101 Things to Do with Kids in Cape Town 101 Things to Do with Kids in Cape Town As much as your kids will tell you they can’t wait for the school holidays, the words "I’m bored" inevitably cross their lips. Our "101 things to do with kids in Cape Town" will ...
  • "World's most beautiful Cities" "World's most beautiful Cities" Open space makes Cape Town special. Renowned English sea navigator Sir Francis Drake once referred to Cape Town as the fairest cape in the world. The city houses the ...

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Friday, 27 June 2014

A Visit to Harold Johnson Nature Reserve

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When you live on a farm, like we do, and the closest Ster Kinekor is an hour’s drive and two toll gates away, it is sometimes necessary to make your own entertainment.

We did this a few Sunday’s ago when I suggested breakfast at the Harold Johnson Nature Reserve. The Skottel and breakfast supplies (including a tin of condensed milk …necessary for any game reserve cup of coffee) were loaded into the double cab and off we went. Continued

Thursday, 26 June 2014

19 secret spots in South Africa – places you’ve probably never been

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There is a danger in thinking that every little bolthole and haven has been discovered in South Africa.

Whilst travel magazines, blogs and websites undoubtedly make our lives as travellers a lot easier with their vivid accounts of places and spaces, the vastness of South Africa means that there will always be uncharted areas… Continued

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Burnedale Farmers Market

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We tried out the fantastic Burnedale Farmers Market over this past weekend. Having only started in mid-May, this market is going from strength to strength with the 25 stalls offering a wide range of products. I was particularly impressed with the purposefully built covered market area; stall holders and market goers will be dry on a rainy day but the light and airy space is perfect for the mostly sunny days the Dolphin Coast provides! Continued

Monday, 23 June 2014

10 things you may not know about Table Mountain

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Table Mountain is Cape Town’s most prominent landmark. The view of the flat-topped massif, as seen from Table Bay or Blouberg, is recognised throughout the world and has placed Cape Town on the map. That it is one of the seven new wonders of the world is no mystery.

The triptych of Devil’s Peak, Table Mountain and the Lion is as famous, as is the mountain’s ‘tablecloth’ – the result of the south-easter, one of the prevailing winds of the Cape peninsula.

But the mountain’s bulk is not there simply to be admired, although this is a large aspect of its appeal. It is also there to hike, climb, worship, drive, walk and explore. From the paths that lead to its summit, to the inescapably rare fauna and flora, Table Mountain is attractive to every visitor… Continued

Friday, 20 June 2014

Winter Wonderland Festival at Theuniskraal

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Winter is the perfect time for glühwein and a roaring fire, if this is what you’re after why not head down to the Winter Wonderland Festival at Theuniskraal Wine Estate on 28 and 29 June 2014.

This festival runs in conjunction with the annual Tulbagh Christmas in Winter -  a weekend of fun for the entire family. Located 120km outside of Cape Town take a leisurely drive into town or spend the night at one of the lovely accommodation options in Tulbagh. Continued

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

South Africa’s four small wild cats – where to see them

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The big cats in South Africa receive a lot of attention. In fairness lions, leopards and cheetah deserve the focus; most of these top predators are in danger – we live in their space, we hunt them illegally and kill them when they prey on livestock.

But South Africa is also home to four smaller cats – the African wild cat, the black-footed cat (now known as the small spotted cat), the caracal, and the serval. To this list I wanted to add the civet and genet but they are not, in fact, cats at all. Instead they belong to a family known as Viverrids, related to the mongoose and meerkatContinued

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Brazil Soccer World Cup fever – 15 facts you may not know

posted to: Miscellaneous
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For a month, starting June 12th, Brazil will host 64 matches across the country.

That’s the other side of the world from South Africa, but it’s close enough to the 2010 World Cup to bring back memories of giant stadiums finished in time, kelp vuvuzelas, the Diski dance, the macaraba (hand-cut, hand-painted hard hat), and flags flying from car windows.

This time most of us will enjoy the games from the safety of our lounge. But nobody will forget the vuvuzelas. Or will they? Continued

Friday, 13 June 2014

30 things you MUST do in Port Elizabeth in winter

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Port Elizabeth might be regarded as Cape Town’s poorer cousin, and far less glamourous than Jozi, but it does have rather mild winters, which makes it a far more attractive option once winter’s cold sets in.

In fact there are those who say that Port Elizabeth has more sunshine hours than any other city in South Africa (we’ll just cast a blind eye to the wind factor).

It’s also just down the road from St Francis Bay and Jeffreys Bay (but cheaper), and has access to plenty of swimming beaches and a beachfront lifestyle that is easy to access. And Port Elizabeth has loads of action-packed activities (in the bungi-jumping, sandboarding, adrenaline junkie vein).

So if you haven’t yet reached for your mouse to find the next low-cost flight out of your seat in to the slow city (slow as in ‘chilled’) then cast your eye over the list below for further impetus… Continued

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

13 vital tips for women travelling alone in South Africa

posted to: Travelling Tips
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Is South Africa safe for a woman travelling on her own? – the $10 million question. And one that has as many different answers as there are people with opinions.

Let me add my two cents worth: yes, you can safely travel in South Africa as a woman. You just need to take a few extra precautions.

South Africa is not that different from anywhere else in the world. Behave as you would in any unknown city in the developing world and you should be just fine. It doesn’t help that South Africa has something of a reputation when it comes to crime, taxi wars and strikes. It is true. They happen. But that does not mean you are constantly exposed to danger. Most violent crime in South Africa tends to happen in low-income areas, and between people who know each other and live in the same neighbourhood. Tourists are usually only subject to petty crime.

Here are a series of tips especially for women travelling alone in South Africa. You’ll like it so much, you might find yourself extending your stay… Continued

Monday, 9 June 2014

Kirstenbosch Tree Canopy Walkway

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The giant steel snake that utterly transforms Kirstenbosch’s little known arboretum is leaving visitors and locals gasping…

Not only does it rise from the ground at a gentle slope until it reaches above the tree line, with panoramic views of the eastern slopes of Table Mountain across the Cape Flats to the Hottentots Holland Mountains in the distance, but its curved arc is an effortless example of grace in motion; of bio-mimicry in design.

Strolling the wooden-slatted, steel-endowed walkway conveys one into another world. The sky, the views, the ingenious curves of the walkway’s design and the delight at finding oneself above the world, in a part of the garden not often visited, is a winning combination.

No matter the weather – for even the stormy, cloud-blown sky has something to offer – the walkway at Kirstenbosch is amazing and a must for any visitor to the garden. I, for one, will be visiting as often as my annual membership will allow… Continued

Thursday, 5 June 2014

10 cozy coffee spots with fireplaces in Cape Town

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Winter is the season Capetonians like to pretend doesn’t happen. That or they simply forget that it can get really cold on the southernmost tip of the African continent.

Point in case: most popular coffee hangouts adopt pavement culture as the crux of their allure. Great for summer. But there is only so much ‘central heating’ a cup of coffee held between the palms of your hands can do for you.

So where do you go in Cape Town when only a fireplace, or a seriously well-heated interior, will do without losing any of the A-M-B-I-E-N-C-E?

Our recommended 10 cozy coffee spots with fireplaces in Cape Town … Continued

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Cape Town’s 25 commandments

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And so it was that Jan Van Hunks descended from his lair on the slopes of Table Mountain to hand down two tablets, and a bottle of bubbly, to the people of Cape Town. Thereon was a list of commandments wherefrom, it followed, that citizens of Cape Town live happy and full lives perched on the peninsula between two oceans. The tablets read … Continued

Monday, 2 June 2014

South Africa’s rare Riverine rabbit – 7 places to see it

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One of the most endangered mammals on Earth, the riverine rabbit is found only in the Karoo.

There are thought to be less than 250 of these rare creatures left. And few people can claim the privilege of having seen one. Found mostly in dry riverbeds in the arid, central Karoo in an area that has been almost completely converted to agriculture, the riverine rabbit is under pressure to survive.

None of its traditional habitat has, up until now, been protected within a national or provincial nature reserve. The rabbits are found only on private farmland, private reserves or in isolated pockets of no more than 50 rabbits in a number of areas in the Western Cape… Continued

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

6 historic windmills, 2 mock mills, and one museum – where to see windmills in South Africa

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South Africa is no stranger to windmills. The figure doing the rounds is 280 000  – the number we claim to have on farms spread across the country.  But the windmills of modern day are actually windpumps, rather than mills. Most of them pump water from the ground, although a few may be attached to saw mills and feed mills.

The old-fashioned windmill did exactly as it name implies. It used wind to mill grain for food production.  South Africa has a number of these, to which we still affix the Dutch word ‘molen’, meaning mill. It describes Dutch tower and smock mills with their common sails (blades) that now function as landmarks.

There are several windmills in South Africa, in particular in Cape TownContinued

Monday, 26 May 2014

10 top places to see leopard in South Africa

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The leopard: a solitary creature that because of its preference for living in dense bush, and its nocturnal habits, remains well hidden and seldom, if ever, seen earning it the labels: secretive and elusive.

They are strong, comfortable in trees, and adept climbers who think nothing of hauling their kill up into branches. Closely related to lions, tigers and jaguars they are listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List. Outside of Africa, many of them are endangered.

There is a long history in South Africa of conflict between farmers with live stock and leopards. There is also little information about leopard populations or their conservation status.

Tourists who come to South Africa expecting leopard interaction are disappointed.  Whilst numerous places offer up close and personal moments with elephant, lions and cheetah, leopards very seldom put in an appearance for photo moments.

On the whole, a bit of sleuth work might pay off if you intend spotting a leopard.

But you are more likely to see leopard in South Africa at one of these 10 places: Continued